With a heat wave in full swing, homeowners are calling for air conditioning repair. But some AC companies say they can’t keep up because of parts shortages.
Jeffery Molina, president of American Air Conditioning & Heating Company in San Antonio, said it can be even slower if a homeowner has a home warranty company that needs to authorize the repairs.
1. Condenser Coil Repair
The condenser coil is probably the most important component in your air conditioning unit. It’s also one of the most expensive parts to replace if it fails. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent this from happening.
Before starting to troubleshoot your AC, make sure you disconnect the power from it. Then, check the fuses on your disconnect block by setting your multimeter to the lowest Ohms scale and touching the red and black leads to the ends of each fuse. A reading of 0 or minus sign indicates a blown fuse. You should also be able to tell if your contactor is faulty by checking its 24v coil. If the ohmmeter reads open (or infinite), then the coil is faulty and needs to be replaced.
A faulty coil can result in several problems, including low refrigerant and overheating. The reason for this is that the coil can’t properly absorb heat from the surrounding air because it’s plugged up. It’s possible to fix a faulty coil, but it will require extensive labor and the replacement of multiple components.
One way to prevent a faulty coil is to clean it regularly. The process is simple and can be done at home. The key is to make sure you disconnect the power and wear gloves before beginning. Also, be sure to read the manufacturer’s safety instructions for your equipment.
Another way to avoid a faulty coil is to move your air conditioner out of direct sunlight during the day. A unit that’s sitting in direct sunlight will have to work harder to cool your home, which can lead to failure over time.
If you’re concerned about the cost of replacing your AC coil, remember that you may be able to get a discount if it’s under warranty. Look at the nameplate on the side of your condensing unit and jot down the make, model and serial number. Then, you can use this information to find the exact part your system needs at a hardware store or furnace dealer. Be sure to check if the warranty covers both parts and labor.
2. Condenser Fan Repair
The fan in your air conditioner’s condenser helps cool the refrigerant from a hot gas to a cool liquid. It then blows the cool liquid across your air conditioner’s coils and into your home via ductwork. Without a functioning fan, this process could be compromised. If your AC system’s fan isn’t working, it’s a good idea to consult with a professional.
First, confirm that the fan isn’t obstructed. You can usually check this by shutting off the power and manually trying to spin the blade with a stick or screwdriver. If the motor can’t turn, there may be an issue with the electrical connection, and a professional will need to inspect the system and make a diagnosis.
Alternatively, if the fan can spin but doesn’t start when you flip the switch and reset your breaker, it’s likely due to a problem with your condenser’s run capacitor, which serves as a source of power for the fan. This can fail for many reasons, including age, running too long, and even power spikes. This component is cylinder-shaped and typically has a technical nameplate. If you want to replace it, make sure to note the wiring colors and positions so that you can properly connect the new one when it comes in.
A screeching sound may indicate a worn-out fan shaft bearing that requires immediate attention to avoid more costly repairs. This is a common problem that can often be prevented by regularly cleaning the unit’s fan grille and removing any obstructions.
A professional HVAC technician will know exactly what to look for when replacing a condenser fan motor, and they’ll have the replacement parts on hand so that your system can quickly get back up and running. Finding a qualified tech with certifications and customer reviews that prove their expertise in this area will help guarantee a successful and cost-effective repair. A reliable company should also offer warranties and guarantees on their work.
3. Condenser Coil Replacement
The evaporator and condenser coils are the heart of your AC. The evaporator coil is located indoors while the condenser coil is located outdoors (in a split system). The evaporator and condenser are essential for bringing in refrigerant, cooling it down and then sending it out of the unit so that you can cool your home. But these coils are also exposed to a lot of wear and tear. They are constantly expanding and contracting as they bring in and release refrigerant. And over time, this can cause the coils to wear out and leak.
So when it comes to repairing or replacing the evaporator coil, homeowners should consider several factors including age of the coil, extent of damage, and replacement cost. The best way to know if a repair is affordable and worthwhile is to have a professional AC technician assess the situation and provide a detailed explanation of their recommendation.
It is important to note that while it may be tempting to try a “Band-Aid” fix on an AC coil that has damaged or worn out, this is almost always a waste of time and money. These types of repairs will typically only make your air conditioner work sporadically, and they will most likely fail again. In addition, the use of “Band-Aid” fixes may invalidate your warranty, so it’s best to leave any such repairs to professionals.
A few things to keep in mind about the cost of replacing a condenser coil include the type of coil and its size, as well as the location of the unit and how easily it can be accessed. Standard coils are usually the cheapest to replace, while spine fin coils and micro-channel coils tend to be more expensive. Brand name versus generic coils will also affect the final price of the new coil, with the more recognized brands generally costing more.
If your ac coils are due for a replacement, be sure to contact an HVAC company that offers free assessments. Not only will they be able to advise you on what parts are best for your needs, but they’ll also be able to install them at a reasonable price.
4. Condenser Fan Replacement
If the air conditioner fan isn’t working, it can cause the refrigerant to heat up and overheat. This can put extra pressure on the compressor and other system components, leading to problems over time. Replacing the air conditioner fan can help prevent these problems.
Before replacing the fan motor, it’s important to turn off the power to the unit for safety reasons. This will protect you from potential shock or injury. Before switching the power back on, make sure to test nearby outlets with a voltage tester to ensure they aren’t live. It’s also essential to use appropriate tools and insulated gloves during this project.
Once the power is off, you can remove the protective coverings and loosen the mounting screws to gain access to the fan motor. You may need to remove the fan blade, as well, depending on your vehicle model. If necessary, a lubricant can help ease removal and prevent damage to other parts of the cooling system.
Next, you’ll need to disconnect the electrical connectors. It’s important to do this carefully to avoid causing any damage. If you’re unsure about how to do this, consult a professional or have a friend assist you. The last thing you want is to ruin a new fan motor or other expensive parts by causing a short circuit or another problem.
When a condenser fan isn’t working, it can be difficult to determine exactly why. It might be as simple as a fan blade being loose, but it could also be more severe, such as a damaged motor or other internal issues. It’s best to handle any problems as soon as they arise to prevent further damage or even a total breakdown of the entire AC system.
Some of the common signs that a condenser fan isn’t functioning include overheating, tripping the circuit breaker, or weird noises or vibrations. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact a professional immediately to determine the problem and get it fixed.